Iowa Board of Regents

November 3-4, 2021 Meeting Recap

November 4, 2021

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The Board of Regents met November 3-4 in Cedar Falls. Selected items discussed are outlined below. View the full agenda here.

COVID-19 Exemption and Accommodation
The Board authorized President Richards to direct the Regent institutions to take action deemed necessary by him to address the requirements of Federal Executive Order 14042, and any other applicable state or Federal law, regulation, regulatory guidance, or contract requirement regarding mask, physical distancing, and vaccination requirements to prevent or mitigate COVID-19. Additionally, new Board Policy section 4.16 on COVID-19 exemption and accommodation was adopted.

Retirement of Superintendent Steve Gettel
President Richards accepted the retirement of Steve Gettel, superintendent of the Iowa School for the Deaf and Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, effective June 30, 2022. Gettel has been superintendent of ISD and IESBVI since 2014. More information on the leadership transition will be forthcoming. 

Fall 2021 Enrollment Report
Iowa’s public university enrollment dropped by 1,817 students from Fall 2020 to Fall 2021. This represents a 2.5% decline in enrollment over one year. The enrollment decline was driven largely by a 7.0% and 5.7% decline in the size of the sophomore and junior classes, respectively, and a 7.3% decline in the number of international students. The number of new first-year students, out-of-state students, and graduate students either increased or was similar to last year.

Academic Affairs Committee
The committee approved requests for two name change requests at UNI and received the annual academic program review report, the biennial faculty activities report, the annual Iowa Lakeside Laboratory Regents Resource Center report and a presentation on graduate and professional student initiatives. In addition, the Board approved the UI request for the Iowa Center for Neurodegeneration and approved professional development requests.

Read More: Regents to Consider Approval of Iowa Center for Neurodegeneration

Further: Faculty Activities at Iowa’s Public Universities

Technology Transfer Report
Collectively, the universities attracted a record $1.45 billion in total sponsored funding to the state in 2021, an increase of $242 million from last year. Additionally, Iowa’s public universities assist Iowa business through on-campus research parks and incubators, which employed 4,460 people in 2021. Fifty-five new companies were founded in these research parks and incubators in 2021 alone, with 185 total companies located there.

Read More: Technology Transfer at Iowa’s Public Universities 

Property and Facilities Committee
Iowa State project descriptions and budgets for two parking lot projects were approved. UNI’s project description and budget for the Innovative Teaching and Technology Center Roof replacement project were approved, as well. UNI’s request to raze two buildings was tabled following Regent Barker’s request for a wider report on space usage on campus. 

Campus and Student Affairs Committee
The committee received reports on campus safety and security from the chiefs of police at Iowa’s public universities. Sarah Hansen, UI VP for student life, Toyia Younger, ISU VP for Student Affairs and David Grady, UNI interim VP for student affairs, presented on campus health and wellness. 

Free Speech Committee
The committee received a presentation on academic freedom UNI Professor and Department Head of the Department of Political Science Scott Peters, and received updates on the free speech survey and campus training. 

Investment and Finance Committee
The Board received the quarterly investment report from Marquette and Associates and approved the comprehensive fiscal report for FY 2021. 

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Committee
The committee received the UIHC presentation from VP for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Carver College of Medicine Brooks Jackson, Associate VP of UI Health Care and UIHC CEO Suresh Gunasekaran, and Interim Associate VP for Finance and UIHC CFO Mark Henrichs. Dr. Nicholas M. Mohr, Vice Chair for Research in the UI Department of Emergency Medicine, presented on Rural Emergency Care in Iowa. 

Audit and Compliance Committee
Board Chief Audit Executive Deb Johnston presented internal audits, while the committee calendar for 2022 was approved.

Public Comment
Two speakers presented to the Board, on increasing faculty voice and well-being.

Honorary Degree
The Board approved Iowa State’s request to award an honorary Doctor of Science degree to Herbert Allen Myers, founder and president of Ag Leader.

Faculty Presentation
Joe Bolick, Director of the Iowa Waste Reduction Center, Dave Morgan, founder of Singlespeed Brewing and Alicia Rosburg, associate professor of economics and the Provost’s Fellow for Sustainability, presented on sustainable developments in the craft brewing industry. 

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